Los Angeles: -- Spent this morning looking at the three touchdown passes on which Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr was in coverage.
He's being blamed for losing the game. This is wrong.
On the first touchdown, Rams coach Sean McVay spread out the Vikings' defense with a tight end far left, creating space in the seam. Vikings safety Harrison Smith moved to his left, toward the middle of the field, at the snap. Suddenly Barr was the only player who could cover Gurley.
And Gurley, instead of cutting to the middle of the field, ran a seam route into the end zone. Barr covered him as well as any linebacker could, and it didn't matter. A combination of a brilliant coach, an accurate quarterback and an excellent receiving back found an opening.
On the next two touchdowns allowed by Barr, he was asked to cover a receiver far downfield. If you want to blame someone for those scores, blame either coach Mike Zimmer for being outmanuevered, or blame the safeties for not givintg Barr more help.
Barr is an easy target now, and I've questioned his play in the past. What happened on Thursday was not his fault.
Mike Zimmer was beaten by Sean McVay.
And I think we/'ll see a lot more of McVay victimizing opposing coaches for, oh, the next 40 years.
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